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The Naming Ceremony

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By Moira Andrew — Poet and Author

After Moira Andrew attended baby Ashanti’s naming ceremony, she was inspired to write this poem. The ceremony combined elements from two different cultures – Ashanti is a Ghanaian name – to create a beautiful and memorable event.

It would be helpful if, before using this poem, young readers had some awareness of poetic devices, especially onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance and refrains.

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Shared teaching and learning

Before reading

  • List the following words on the board and read them aloud together: wash, splash, shush, whoosh, swish, brush. Discuss the common sound, sh, and how and what it might be describing – water, wind, sweeping.
  • Remind the children that such words are onomatopoeic: sounding like the action. Introduce the poem, explaining it makes great use of sounds.
  • Write the name Ashanti on the board and ask the children to read and repeat it a number of times. Ask them, as you read the poem, to imagine they are guests at the ceremony.
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